Monday, 1 February 2010

animated life - heron tower

Hello again dogshowhello-ers! This is a project I was working on whilst I was working at St. Bart's hospital, and created as a flip book (with accompanying text pieces) for my London Film School application.

After having a bit of a rethink I've recreated it as an animated gif - time now loops for infinity, always cycling forwards and then backwards. I think this an interesting way to present this content on the internet, and I hope you do too.

Below the gif is the original explaination and though process behind the piece - perhaps I will one day present it as it was originally intended :-D

Heron Tower GIF Project

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Original Project Outline


"Throughout my life I have always been fascinated with film, and in particular the way motion, and therefore life, can be captured in a series of still moments. Resurrection of this dead time was always a thrill to me, so much so that at the age of three my father came home to find his entire box of still photography film used up; on hesitantly paying to process these rolls of film my parents discovered hundreds of near identical pictures of my toys.



As it turns out I had attempted to infuse these objects of cheap plastic with the life I regularly gave them in my mind; on flicking through these photographs one could see the jerking beginnings of animated life – though primitive, there was a form of life on these photographs that couldn’t exist anywhere else except in my mind.



This knowledge of cinema’s ability to control both life and death, manipulate reality into impossible shapes and create entire tangible universes from the embers of imagination has never left me, and is a strong reason behind why I remain fascinated with film.



This Heron Tower art project is based around two things; daily routine and the power of juxtaposed images. As discussed, I have always been fascinated with the way a collection of still images can make conventional space-time logic malleable, and this project is the modern day incarnation of this wonder.



Film’s ability to animate the still is something I have explored in this project by melding it with thoughts of routine. This project came to me after I had recovered from a knee operation and had started walking four miles to, and from, work every day. On my walks to and from work I pass the Heron Tower building project near Liverpool Street station twice every day, and do so at almost exactly the same time each day.



Growing disillusioned with the everyday work routine I found myself feeling stuck in a rut; it was as if time wasn’t passing, but instead repeated the same pattern of events day after day. Heron Tower seemed to echo this thought – even though I walked past every day its building work never seemed to progress.



As an attempt to show that time most certainly was passing I took to standing on the same spot each day that I passed and taking a photo of the building – after amassing several photos I began to see the that time was most certainly going past. Looking at Heron Tower construct itself, and then destruct when flipped the other way, made me both happy and sad.



I was amazed at the way I had captured my own aspect of reality – for the moments I was looking at my real world flip book I was in control of time. Simultaneously however I also felt that this series of photos evoked a melancholic air; it’s tragic that we seldom notice time passing until it is gone, because we are so stuck in the minutia of our existences.



With this in mind I combined the project with a daily list of what foodstuffs I eat and at what time, in this way both the banal and the philosophical juxtapose and communicate the strange experience of working a 9-5 job. I find it fitting that after each identical day I am left with only these two articles proving the previous day actually occurred – I suppose sharing them is an attempt to hold onto this ‘lost’ time.



I hope to display the project as an art installation, but until then I ask that you watch this building tumble forward, then backwards, through time and experience the same feeling I felt when I was three years old and taking photos with my father’s camera."



I hope you found that interesting, sorry it's a lot of text!

sam sam

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